Epson easily disables fully functional printers via software

Printer ink

Hardly any tech product has revealed more shoddy sales practices. But customer criticism is no reason for manufacturers to improve. Epson disables fully functional printers. The repair would be child’s play, but please buy a new one.

Epson pushes the printer’s boldness to its limits

The printer just happily spins to itself, then the message: “A part in your printer has reached the end of its useful life”. This is exactly what is happening to Epson customers right now. As Fightto Repair reported, the Japanese manufacturer has programmed an “End of Life” into the software of some models of its inkjet printers. In short: Scheduled obsolescence is brought about haphazardly by a program. Affected devices: L130, L220, L310, L360, and L365.

It gets even more absurd if you look closely at which part is listed here for the end of the printer. The message is triggered because an ink sponge collects excess printer ink. However, the possible “run out” is monitored here by a simple counter. Once the number of prints specified by Epson has been registered, the printer is automatically deactivated – completely independent of how the ink sponge was ordered.

Easy to repair

And what to do if the printer refuses to work? You could just replace the ink sponge, it is one of the cheapest parts. Epson itself writes in the support article that a repair is possible, but would not be worth it. Of course, it also makes sense that the company doesn’t provide the necessary replacement sponges in the first place.

Under the heading “Ink Pad Reset”, however, the network manages to help independently. Under Windows you can then use an official Epson tool to reset the sponge counter, the tool download link will be displayed with a full ink sponge message – this feature is not available for Mac and Linux. However, Epson will certainly not make friends with this solution: “The software can only be used once and allows printing for a short period of time,” says the company.